tv U.S. Senate CSPAN January 23, 2012 12:00pm-5:00pm EST
metropolitan jonah primate of the church of america offer this invocation as one prayer before the one throne and imagine industry of the kingdom of god. it is with honor and esteemed respect i present his beattitude, metropolitan jonah. [applause] >> brothers and sisters it's good for us to be here. i'm deeply honored at the invitation of cardinal denardo to stand together with my brother bishops, especially, with cardinal elect timothy doland of new york, archbishop of new york. [applause] >> and other bishops of the roman catholic and orthodox church. [applause]
>> brothers and sisters, we have to come together. we are of one mind on this issue, of one heart, as the apostle calls it. let us give thanks to god that we can come together and show our unity in this way. working together, being together, praying together, praying that the end of abortion, affirming the sanctity of life. so brothers and sisters, let us pray, now i'm going to make this a little responsery, okay? so when i say, let us all say lord have mercy, lord have mercy. let us hear it. let us all say, lord have mercy. >> in the name of the father and the son and of the holy spirit. holy father, our creator,
savior, redeemer in god, light and life of the world, it shows our infinite love mankind by sending thy only begotten son into the world to take our flesh and to be born as an infant of the blessed virgin mary, becoming all that we are in order to liken us to ourselves. through thy servant moses set before thy people two ways, the way of life, and the way of death, and let us not only call us to life but freely gave it to us. who's speaking thy prophet jeremiah, just remind us that thou knowth us even from his mother's womb who was born in poverty, laying in a manger,
taking the form of a servant, let's hear the lament of rachel weeping for her children for they were no more. let us proclaim to thy disciples, unless one receives thy kingdom like a child, one cannot enter it. let us all say, lord have mercy. visit us on this solemn day, a day on which we beg thine infinite mercy for the atrocities we allow in the killing of children in the womb, a day on which we gather to bear witness to the sanctity of all human life from cradle to grave, a day on which we bear witness together to the value of each human person, a day on which we offer to thee for thy blessing and to the world as a sign, our witness to thine infinite goodness and charity even those
who daily neglect the life thouth have given to us even in killing in death let us say. >> lord have mercy. >> remember not our negligence and sin. remember not our failure to be doers of the word and not hearers only. remember, not our hypocrisy, external zeal with practical inaction to assist those who fall prey to the despair and hopelessness of abortion. let us all say -- >> lord have mercy. >> except, o lord, the repentance of us who have sinned and heal our souls, accept o lord of grief of mothers who have aborted their children as a cry of repetence. accept o lord the bitter sorrow of regret as the broken heart not dissupervise. let us say -- >> lord have mercy. >> we offer this sign of our
visible unity, standing together in unity of mind with a contrived heart and a broken spirit. we offer our repetence, however we have sinned, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of god and thus none can -- none of us can judge or condemn. we offer our compassion to those in grief, in guilt, and in despair. we pray that thou will receive us with the prodgal with the open arms before us and though who have not condemned let us all say -- >> lord have mercy. >> we beseech o lord, enlighten those lost in the darkness of insensitivity. transform the minds and hearts of those hardened and bitterness. give hope, lord, to those immersed in despair. let us all say -- >> lord have mercy. >> as though are good and the
only lover of mankind, this is us with uninfinite compassion. create in each of us and in our nation a new heart, taking not thy that holy spirit from us and restore to us the joy of life and of thy salvation. cleanse us and redeem us by thy precious blood, said for the life of the world, cast us not off, neither turn thy face away from us but receive us in repetence according to thy mercy. for we earnestly repent and with our necks of our souls bowed, we turn to ourselves thee, let us say -- >> lord have mercy. >> for t hshs ou is the giver of life and a saver of our souls and unto thee we send glory to the father and to the sun and to the holy spirit now and ever and unto ages of ages -- >> amen. >> may the lord bless you all
abundantly. [applause] >> what a beautiful sight. god's people coming together in unity to stand up for life, preborn. this is my 24th march that i've been working with nelly, volunteering in this role. and i just thank god for all of you, and everyone that makes an effort to come out here -- you know, somehow god puts it together. it's not our great organization or anything like that, but you folks -- god puts it on your heart to get the bosses here to get here and we thank god for every volunteer, every person who makes this happen and every one of you that shows up. i'm going to now introduce to
you the chief of volunteers in the march for life, a dear woman who loves the preborn and has given her life for this work, i want to you welcome ms. nelly gray, president of the march for life. [applause] >> thank you for coming today in this weather and so forth. it shows indeed that we love our country, we love the innocent preborn children. we love the abortionists that we're trying to show and educate that they should not be active in the intentional killing of thousands and thousands of innocent preborn children, so that we focus today, as we want to focus, throughout the year, but beginning today, these words of unity on the life and without
any exception, without any compromise we will save the right to live of each innocent human being in existence at fertilization so help us god. [applause] >> we want to make certain that we remind our officials that this is not something unusual for america. our founding documents put in them the right to life endowed by our creator so that we understand that from the beginning, america was indeed a land understanding our right to life for each human being. we march today on the sadness that, unfortunately, there's an abortion industry in our country. this industry has begun to build
itself and how does it happen? it begins with their language. they want to deceive the world that what they are doing in the intentional killing of the innocent preborn children is something that is a right. it's a choice. and so with language, they have developed, unfortunately, a killing industry for our country. we make comments to our president and our members of our government that we came here today to remind them that when each and every member of our government awakens this morning, they're participating and giving allowance for the intentional killing of 3,000 innocent preborn children today, and that has now averaged out for the whole of the time of roe vs. wade to more than 50 million
innocent preborn children and victimizing mothers of those children and fathers of those children, and those of us -- brothers and sisters of those children, that, unfortunately, 50 million innocent preborn children have been killed by the permission of our government. we look at other incidents where we have participated in evils, the nuremberg trials taught us that genocide, the killing of innocent human beings is a crime against humanity. and our government must begin to understand that they are participating in crimes against humanity, which cannot be made legal. and so we're asking our government to overturn roe vs. wade but they don't seem to understand that roe v. wade is
not the law of the land but it's an evil imposed on our country. many people participating in the pro-life movement have felt that there was something about an incremental approach that we do little by little by little. but that little by little has made the abortionists feel very confident that they have some kind of a right and so the incremental approach must be abandoned right now. we go to the life principles, no exceptions, no compromise. [applause] >> you know, the reason you and i come today when our government actually authorizes this intentional killing, they authorize it in the name of you and me, too, so that,
unfortunately, they are making us part of their industry, and that is indeed what we have to overcome. now, these life principles were put together at the beginning of the very first march for life. and what they simply say in about seven items or so is that we understand that human life begins at fertilization. the only thing about roe v. wade is the author which roe v. wade through our supposedly erudite supreme court justices -- they don't know when life begins. isn't that amazing that all these wonderful, educated justices don't know when life begins. and when they -- the issue came before them again, they refused to overturn it and acknowledge when human life begins.
the life principles state clearly that each human life is in existence at fertilization. now, the reason we must be very careful, insistent about the life principles is today it is the innocent children who are being killed by our government but also with that there's a boldness that if it's not only the preborn children's lives who are under the evil, but it's also creeping for the aged and the handicapped and the elderly. and, therefore, we say that the march for life, life principles are to protect human life without regard to age, health, or condition of dependency. it's for all of us throughout our whole life. and we ask that our life principles be followed.
[applause] >> do you realize also that the abortionists are able to operate because somehow they not only have an industry activated but you don't hear very much about it. they are able to make it seem like a right in our world and, therefore, they are also operating against the life principles and for roe v. wade because they are able to keep you from seeing and understanding what exactly they are doing, but they are indeed killing innocent preborn human beings. one of the most important things i want to also leave with you is that we have helped through the
pregnancy aid centers so that no one has to go to an abortion clinic and have their children killed. no one! [applause] >> within our groups today, you'll hear from some of the workers in the pro-life movement who are providing life principle assistance and pro bono come to them. anyone who is in a situation that seems difficult, do not be afraid. do not worry about going to an abortion but coming to our churches where jesus christ is and of the care that we're producing through all of the religious organizations, come where you can have help to assure that you and your preborn children can be taken care of.
listen to the aid that is available to you and don't let the abortionists distract you to the point of thinking that they are the only ones providing something that appears to be the end of a problem. but the abortion industry does not end the problems but rather they create more problems for women and men and children and, therefore, we must indeed understand help is available. from that help, what are we going to do after this? we've been marching here in washington for now 39 years. thank you for remaining -- for remaining with this whole effort because when you have a done, even in the rainstorms to come and tell our government that they indeed may not continue the
abortion industry. and now we must really at this point ask again -- what are we going to do about it? we're going to develop instructions to our government, to our president, and tell him every morning when he gets up, 3,000 babies are going to be killed but he could protect those 3,000 babies. and he must stop supporting the abortion industry and save the babies. that's our president. he must stop the killing of those innocent children. [applause] >> in addition, we have a united states congress that's very pro-life, and they too must put forth the legislation we're going to propose to stop abortion in america. that's our members of congress. ask them to stop it. and in order to do that, we put the legislation before the
congress and all of us, all of you who are here today are part of then the grassroots effort to get that legislation passed now. and with our supreme court, we will write again to them and suggest that if they don't know when life begins, we're going to tell them one more time. [applause] >> that our supreme court can indeed overturn roe v. wade and they can do it without waiting until all other appeals go but just get to the point of our united states supreme court indeed overturn roe v. wade. i want to thank you again very, very much for coming today.
and i will work with you and you can work. you have no idea what it looks like, all of you people out here today. you are enormous. you are wonderful. thank you, thank you. god bless. [applause] >> we have somebody here that nellie is going to introduce right now. >> in order for our work to get done, we very much go to the congress, and we are delighted to have with us today, the house speaker, john boehner, a republican from ohio. [applause] >> well, nellie, thank you. let me say thanks to all of you for braving the elements today. i'm truly honored to be with all of you. and i come here today as the speaker of the whole house of representatives, and the leader of the bipartisan pro-life
majority in the united states house of representatives. [applause] >> with your help, this bipartisan majority is standing up for life and working to restore the damage with regard to roe. we are heeding the voice of the people who overwhelmingly oppose taxpayer funding of abortion. [applause] >> the house has passed bipartisan legislation to codify the hite amendment across our entire government and we'll continue to press the senate for a vote. [applause] >> it's an honor for me to serve with men and women committed to protecting the sanctity of life. but we may disagree on a lot of other areas and sometimes starkly, but we are one on the same when it comes to this
issue. because human life is not a political or economic commodity. and defending life is not a member of party without standing on principle. in that spirit i think it's important we take a moment to reflect on the first principles that bring us all here today. we're blessed to gather on this national mall, hallowed ground, kept hallowed by the footprints and echoes of the past. here one half a century ago john f. kennedy let the world know americans would pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship to keep the freedom alive and well. like many of you, my family of kennedy democrats was moved by these words. i'm what you call i'm from a big family. i've got 11 brothers and
sisters. [applause] >> i'm sure it wasn't easy for our mother to have 12 of us but i'm glad we're all here. [applause] >> and respect in life at every stage was instill to us early on. my heart still gross restless with the story in scriptures whatever you do to the least of my people, you do unto me. no life is an island. and we're all taught that. we're all taught to extend a helping hand especially those in need. so i've never considered being pro-life a label or a political position. it's just who i am. [applause] >> and it's not just that i am pro-life. it's that we as a people are pro-life. [applause] >> and if you're like me and you've climbed the steps on the other side of the tidal basin, you're awed by jefferson's
immortal words, god who gave us life, gave us liberty. these two founding principles, life and liberty, are intertwined. together they form the core of our national character. they comprise the standard by which the world looks to us. and when we affirm the dignity of life, we reaffirm our commitment to liberty. and freedom. when we don't affirm life, when life is cheapened, weakened, here or abroad, freedom is diminished. here on this mall, many solemn vows have been made in the long fight for freedom. you know, america is an idea and our duty is to preserve its blessing. the first and dearest of which is life. that's why nellie gray marches on. that's why all of you march on. so let us rise in nellie's example and raise our voices
together in defense of life. [applause] >> let us pray that more of our countrymen, whether you belong to one political party or no political party will join this noble cause. god go with all of you today and god bless these united states of america. [applause] >> thank you. [applause] >> thank you, mr. speaker. looking out and seeing hundreds of thousands of people, it's great to know that we have a great speaker of the house of representatives, and that's john boehner. [applause] >> i'd like to introduce to you now another sword of the right to life movement, congressman chris smith from new jersey. [applause]
>> cochair of the house pro-life caucus. chris smith. [applause] >> thank you. thank you. >> hello, let me thank you for being part of the greatest human rights movement on earth, the selfless struggle that by prayer, fasting and hard work, seeks to defend the weak and the vulnerable. as you know, under the extraordinary leadership under speaker boehner, whom you just heard, majority leader cantor, whip kevin mccarthy and jeff hersling who is our conference chairman, the has overwhelmingly h.r. 3 the no taxpayer funding of no abortion act and voted to completely repeal obamacare and to defund planned parenthood. [applause] >> that we must work hard to
change the senate so these bills can go forward and reclaim the white house. [applause] >> tomorrow night, in his state of the union message, president obama will issue a call to, quote, return america to american values. mr. president, the violent destruction of children in the womb, killing babies is not an american value. [applause] >> mr. president, stop violating conscience rights! stop violating religious freedom! [applause] >> that is not an american value. abortion is not, never will be an american value. and stop exporting abortion to the four corners of the earth. [applause] >> the past three years, my friends, of abortion extremism by president obama is a mere foretaste, a mere foreshadowing
of what will be if he's re-elected. mr. obama's abortion extremism was significantly worsened in a second term. given for mower years, obama will pack the courts and will especially the u.s. supreme court with litmus tested proabortion judges. unfettered by any concern of a future election, mr. obama will aggressively use the coercive power of the state to compel abortion conformity. so make no mistake about it, we don't have the luxury of this unity or nominee disappointment or apathy. no one who values life can sit this one out. failure to unite, failure to mobilize sends the abortion industries enabler and chief, barack obama, back to the white house.
so for the sake of the innocent, failure to unite is simply not an option. thank you. [applause] >> good afternoon. i'm the representative from the state of illinois. [applause] >> i want to thank all of you for being here today. we have a lot of work ahead of us, to conquer the death and spread the culture of life in washington and all across our nation. and we know that it's not going to be easy. i especially know that as a democrat here in washington. it is not easy to be pro-life. but we must let america know and i want to let america know and all of you know that we will not back down, and we will not go away. [applause] >> your presence here today
especially so many students really strengthen my hope, and my faith that with god's help, we will turn around the culture of death, and we will make our nation respect and cherish and protect the lives of the most innocent among us. and so today we again we dedicate ourselves to that, to protect the lives of the innocent in our nation. god bless you. [applause] >> good afternoon. i'm eric cantor from the seventh district of virginia, and the majority leader of the u.s. house. [applause] >> it is always so amazing to look out on this crowd, people who travel from all across the country and brave the cold to
fight for life. [applause] >> i especially want to recognize those who made the trip from virginia and for those who came up from the seventh district today on five buses. your belief and commitment to the right to life gives all of us even more inspiration to never, ever give up the fight. we come today to stand together and voice our belief that innocent life is precious, and the taking of life morally wrong. millions of americans across this country agree with us that we must stop government from assisting in the assault on innocent life. [applause] >> millions of americans agree with us that we should defund
and stop giving of government dollars to planned parenthood. [applause] >> our dollars should never be used to take life. it is time to protect conscious rights for those who oppose abortion. [applause] >> as you know, we cannot do this alone. we need your help. we need more chris smiths and dan lapinskis, who have dedicated their lives to our cause, their passion, their courage and their fight sends a clear message to the american people that we all -- we all stand proudly for life and let us not give up the fight. thank you very, very much. [applause] >> good afternoon, i'm kevin mccarthy from california. i'm the majority whip of the house. [applause]
i stood here a year ago we committed to finding a way to ensure life is protected on every stage. what a difference one year makes. despite being met with obstacles, the house stood strong and we succeeded in reinstating a ban on abortions right here in dc. this may not be california weather, one thing it does do it rains to everyone in this capitol and this country our dedication to the sanctity of life. [applause] >> i pledge to you again as house republicans will continue to stand hand-in-hand as we persist our anything else to promote the sanctity of life. let us find even more powerful ways to remind all of our fellow citizens what is written in psalm 127 versus 3.
the hope, children are the gift of the lord. thank you and god bless. [applause] >> good afternoon, jeb hensarling from dallas, texas. it is cold, it is rainy and there's no such thing as a bad day to march for life. [applause] >> 10 years ago last month my first born was put in my arms and i celebrated a child of god. [applause] >> when my wife said she was pregnant, i knew as a matter of faith she carried life. when i saw that first sonogram, science confirmed what i knew by faith, that she carried life. and on february 28th, 2002, claire suzanne hensarling exercised her constitutional right to be born and came into this world.
[applause] >> and as a united states congressman, i will never rest until every child in america born and unborn has their unalienable right to life protected. march on! [applause] >> good afternoon. i'm tom price from the state of georgia. god bless you. you know, life -- as a physician i know that life is so very, very basic. we all know that life is so very, very precious. we also know that life is so very, very innocent. and it's also very, very threatened. as those who oppose the sanctity of life try to change the definition to suit their purposes, our task becomes greater. as this administration turns its
back on the sanctity of life, our task becomes greater. and as popular culture and education diminished the sanctity of life, our task becomes greater. and so i have one question for you, are we up to the task? [applause] >> you bet we are! god bless you! god bless america! and keep fighting for freedom and for life. [applause] >> hello, i'm congressman steve king of iowa. [applause] >> hello pro-life america! [applause] >> you fill this mall as far as the eye can see. this is the 39th year, 53 million babies aborted. millions of you come to this mall every year, younger and younger every year and more and more do you march and do you pray for life. and now i see that over in the
last year, 24 states have passed 92 pieces of legislation to protect life. [applause] >> it's a new milestone. [applause] >> when you go back home, and you talk to your friends and you are relatives, tell them there are two things you need to know, ask question number 1, is human life sacred in all of its forms? is it sacred? [applause] >> and when does life begin? conception? god bless you, keep marching, keep praying. we're going to come here to celebrate the end of roe vs. wade. [applause] >> good afternoon, i'm congressman jim sensen brenner of wisconsin, did former chairman of the house judiciary committee. one of the principles upon which our country was founded was freedom. last friday, the obama administration took away a
freedom by going against conscience protection. and what this means is that people who are health care professionals are people who work in religious sponsored hospitals will have a choice, the choice is their faith or their job. that's not freedom. that has to be reversed. and we all will march on, talk to our elected officials at all levels of government to make sure that is reversed this year. thank you. [applause] >> good afternoon, pro-lifers. [applause] >> i'm congressman todd aiken from the state of missouri. [applause] >> this is my twelfth annual chance to join you in rain or shine or warmth or cold.
but this will be my last chance to join you as a u.s. congressman. because in the state of missouri, we have a proabortion senator that needs to go on vacation. [applause] >> i hope next year to join you as a u.s. senator right here, continuing to fight for pro-life. [applause] >> god bless you all. you are standing up for the most fundamental aspect of american culture, that is that we protect life because no other rights mean anything if you're dead. god bless you. march on! [applause] >> hello, everybody, i'm congressman john fleming from the great state of louisiana. [applause] >> we can feel your energy and
you are commitment up here on stage. in such terrible weather and we appreciate you turning out today. you know, as a physician who has delivered hundreds of babies, the father of four and a grandfather of two, i can tell you that the taking of innocent life is never health care. do i have agreement on that? [applause] >> do you realize that since roe v. wade, over 54 million innocent lives have been taken from the womb? and over 1.2 million every year occur. even 300 and -- well, 320,000 abortions occurred just from planned parenthood alone. yes. ladies and gentlemen, we don't know when we'll be able to change what has occurred from the great court in this nation,
but i can tell you this, we're doing things every day that's reducing abortions around the country, such as requiring a 24-hour notice. such as sonograms and many other things that we can do. and every day we see more people who are now pro-life and more than ever, people say they do not want their tax money to go for abortion. keep up the great work. thank you very much. [applause] >> oh, wow! all these wonderful members of congress. oh, we got one more. >> i cannot tell you what an honor it is to be among all of you. this year is a destiny-shaping year for america and for unborn. i promise you in the congress this year we will hear the pain capable legislation and we will hear the prenatal nondiscrimination act which will demonstrate the humanity of the
child and the inhumanity that is done to them. please hear this much, in this coming election, we are facing one of the greatest challenges in our history. barack obama is the most proabortion president in the history of this nation. he is the abortion president and we must defeat him if the unborn are to be protected. [applause] >> and so i'm going to leave you with this quote that queen elizabeth said when she was facing king phillips' armada. she said we see the sails approaching. we hear the sound of the guns over the water, soon now we will meet them face-to-face. i come out among you to live and die amongst you all. while we stand together, no enemy will pass. let them come with the armies of hell they will not pass. and when this day is over -- and when this day of battle is over we met again, in heaven or the
field of victory. by the grace of god, i will meet you here this time next year on the field of victory. [applause] >> we're going to have victory and we're going to have it! >> i want to invite some ladies up here -- you know, we say in the pro-life movement, the celebrities that we have are the mothers and the preborn children that are suffering under abortion. and we forget a lot of times that the other part of that equation are the mothers who are suffering who have had abortions. and i want to introduce some dear ladies to tell you about the work that they're doing to talk about the regret for abortion. >> hello, i'm janet, executive director of free for life and cofounder of the silent no more awareness campaign. [applause] >> this is our tenth march for the men and women here with their signs. i regret my abortion and i
regret lost fatherhood. since cofounding the campaign over 10,000 people have joined this campaign in 67 countries. [applause] >> over 5,000 men and women have stood publicly on the streets of this united states and all over the world publicly testifying to the damages done in their lives by abortion. that's a lot of women and men who are hurting and we're here to send a message, please come to the supreme court and hear the testimonies as you're marching by the court, they are life-changing and they will equip you to help those people back home. and now i'm introducing my cofounder of the campaign, georgette forney. [applause] >> greetings, i am the president of anglicans for life and the cofounder for the silent no more awareness campaign. we are humbled to stand up here
and be silent no more. we are women and men who have for one reason or another had an abortion. and while they think we just talk about the baby, we know that not only does our baby die but a part of us dies right along with that baby. the women and men who are standing behind me have courageously allowed god in to heal them, to forgive them and to restore them. and now they courageously stand up and speak out about the injustice of abortion. we know it kills our children. now we need to help people understand that it's not good for women. it's not good for men. it's not health care. women's rights do not include -- do not need to include the right to die, the right to abortion.
please help us get this message out. please go to our website, sil t silentnomoreawareness. we're here because we care about somebody who has had an abortion. let them know that the healing programs are out there. that they don't have to live in pain and regret. suffer in silence. let them know the healing programs are out there. go to our website again, silent no more awareness.org. we want everybody to help us spread the word. there are over 1400 testimonies published on our website. please help us get the word out. thank you and god bless. [applause] >> thank you for these dear ladies who have such courage. guess what, we have some more members of congress. so welcome them in now. >> good morning. this is the day that the lord
has made. let us give thanks and rejoice in it. >> i am from the great state of new jersey along with my wife marion along with my two college age daughters are a 100% pro-life family. [applause] >> and right behind us is the halls of congress where a little over a year ago the gavel was taken away from nancy pelosi. [applause] >> and handed to a pro-life congress. [applause] >> a congress that can speak for those who cannot speak, a congress that can act for those who cannot act, a congress now that can fight for those that cannot fight, a pro-life congress. [applause] >> and so now although the struggle we know continues, we know that he who first created life, that he too is now still in control of this universe. [applause] >> and so i commend everyone out here who came far away from home, that remember what scripture tells us, that we will
continue to run and not grow faint. that we will continue to walk and not grow weary that we continue to march today for life. i commend you all as we begin this walk and we will not grow weary. we will continue to fight. god bless everyone. [applause] >> good afternoon, pro-lifers. [applause] >> pro-americans. [applause] >> i'm congresswoman jean schmitt from the great state of ohio. and i'm here to challenge you to help me make sure that we are and continue to be the greatest nation in the world, a nation under god and god's plan for us. [applause] >> on friday, as you recently
heard by my good friend mr. sensenbrenner, this administration attacked one of the basic cores of what makes america great. not only has our right to life been under continuous attack for the last 39 years, but now our right to be the person that we want to be, the right to liberty. ladies and gentlemen, young folks in this audience, that is the cornerstone and the foundation that makes us unique. unparalleled across the world. by removing the conscious clause, this administration is now forcing us to choose between our right to be the person we want to be, to have a religious
expression and a job. i have to repeat that. we will now have to choose between our core beliefs, our religious beliefs and in some cases our job. the erosion is frightening. you and i have the voice to change it. i ask you to join me in that voice. god bless you and god bless the united states of america. [applause] >> good afternoon, pro-lifers. [applause] >> i am ann maria berkle from the great state of new york and let me say hi to all my fellow new yorkers out there. thank you, thank you, thank you for your willingness to stand here every year and fight for
the right to life. you are the heroes. we need you. and to all of the young people in the audience, thank you for being strong and for being willing to stand up to protect all life. ladies and gentlemen, every life regardless of the circumstance has intrinsic value because it was created by god. we know that. we now need to convince the rest of the country. we stand for life. god bless you and god bless the united states of america. [applause] >> good afternoon, i'm congressman andy harris, one of the pro-life physicians in congress. [applause] >> thank you all for being here, especially, my son danny, daughter jessica somewhere out there. work hard this year because we are one election away from restoring america as a pro-life
nation. thank you. [applause] >> hi, everyone. i'm congressman jeff hortonbury and i'm pro-life. [applause] >> thank you for coming here but young people it saddens my heart that i have to say this to you. president obama is not with you. president obama is against you. president obama in his administration are aggressively proabortion and are actively undermining religious freedom and the rights of conscience. so as you march today, please know as well that his secretary of health and human services has recently said kathleen sebelius, secretary sebelius said we are at war and who is she at war with? with you. people who believe in the sanctity of human life and that women deserve better. so thank you for standing up for your rights, your right to free speech, your right to assembly. and know today that as you march, you're speaking truth to power.
god bless you. [applause] >> i'm mike telly from northwest state. the rain can't dampen our spirits. and this administration can't dampen our mission. [applause] >> we're here today for one reason and one reason only and that is to defend life. you are truly occupying washington. thank you for what you do and god bless you. [applause] >> good afternoon. i'm congressman mike pompao from the great state of kansas. it was in my hometown in wichita where a flame was lit. all of you here today are a testament to protect every human life from conception till natural death. thank you so much for what you're doing. it is truly the lord's work. we have a big fight ahead of us
for the next 11 months and the years to come, we made a ton of progress. thank you for what you do and may god bless each and every one of you. [applause] >> good afternoon. my name is jeff landry and i'm from the great state of louisiana. [applause] >> that's right. this year in louisiana, the union's top state for pro-life issues. yes, but a second time in three years louisiana has been named the most pro-life state in the union. [applause] >> so that means the rest of you all have to be challenged. you have to take us down. remember, i want you to take that child in your arms, please pray for life, preach for life and politic for life. thank you all. [applause]
>> how is everybody doing? [applause] >> hey, i'm shaun duffy from the great state of wisconsin. i'm happy to be here with all of you. you know, you are all the unsung heroes of the greatest civil rights battle of our generation. [applause] >> now, today you're not only marching on behalf of the millions of babies who have lost their lives through the violence of abortion, but you're also standing with their mothers, who have quietly suffered from the greatest lie ever told, the lie that their babies were not wanted and that their babies were not human. thank you for exposing that lie. keep up the fire, keep the faith. god bless and game on! [applause] >> hi, i'm congressman g.t.
thompson from the state of pennsylvania. [applause] >> i want to thank you so much for being here on behalf of the unborn today. i know you've traveled a long distance. you personally sacrificed to be here but i got to tell you, it's worth it. you're making a difference. you're making a difference for the unborn. each one of us here today can give thanks for a creator for life and our mothers who delivered us life. i'm proud to be 100% and proud to stand with you in the constitutional right to life. thank you for what you do. [applause] >> hey, everybody, my name is randy from illinois just outside of chicago. thank you for being here. i am here in congress to fight for life. there's no more important fight that we're going to have over this next year and these next months than to fight for life. thank you for being here. i'm so encouraged by all the young people that are here. and that is where planned parenthood is saying they're
dying because we got the young people committed to life. god bless you. be praying for our leaders. be praying for this election. let's come back next year and celebrate winning the fight for life. god bless you all. [applause] >> we'll have more members of congress in a few minutes. you know, you always hear the pro-life movement doesn't have alternatives. but we do. we have pregnancy crisis centers. we have, you know, adoption, all sorts of things. we're going to hear right now from chris, founder of the good council home about the work of pregnancy aid centers and how important they are to the pro-life battle. chris? [applause] >> hey. we also have maternity homes throughout this nation, from bangor to the miami keys, from new york to san francisco. if a woman is pregnant and she
needs help, she needs a house, she needs long-term care, not only through birth but after birth, good counsel and dozens and hundreds of maternity homes are there to take her in, to care for her and to love her. don't we have enough love in our nation for another baby to be born? [applause] >> good council, good council homes.org is there to help women with a national hotline and our website. we are partnering with dozens of other maternity homes, a couple of whom are represented here today and will share with you briefly how we're helping mothers, before, during and after birth. we're forming a national network. if you are pregnant or know someone who is, or if you want to help a maternity home today,
email maternity firstname.lastname@example.org. thank you and god bless you. and here is mary peterson from maggie's place. >> hello. my name is mary. i represent homes that are in arizona and in cleveland, ohio. maggie's place is a place that welcome back women in any situation, in any difficulties, into a safe and loving community and are eager to welcome any women that need it. ..
>> start programs that then become fathers. thank you. [cheers and applause] >> thank you, all, so much for that. okay, terry, come on up. terry? i'll be right back. >> we talk about the future of the pro-life movement. we have now some wonderful -- terry, come up here and introduce the students who won the student contest. >> we hold this contest as many of you know every year, and then we -- it's very competitive, and then we pick the winners of the best high school and junior high essay poem and poster. i just want you to meet these winners this year. the first winner for the high
school essay is morgan whit. [cheers and applause] okay. the junior high winner for the essay is becca kennedy from -- [cheers and applause] from iowa. morgan, by the way, is from north carolina. fourth is regina from waynesville, iowa. winner of the high school poem contest. next winner is maggie stien from maryland, winner of the junior high poem contest. did she raise her hand? put it up. okay. next winner for the poster for
junior high is sarah from kentucky. [cheers and applause] did i get everybody? i can't hear you -- [inaudible conversations] oh, yeah, sorry. my apologies. the winner from the high school poster contest is abby foul of woodstock, maryland. [cheers and applause] thank you, ladies, all. next year, we'd like gentlemen to enter the contest too, you know? all right. thank you. >> well, we have more members of congress now. i want to introduce them. come on forward here, and let's
give them a big applause. >> hi, i'm louis gomer from the state of texas, and we're all here for the life; right? [cheers and applause] ben franklin called it the sacred writing. the sacred writing says behold children are a heritage from the lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward like arrows in the hands of a warrior, so are the children's -- children of one's youth. happy is the person who has a home full of them. friends for life, the same selfish arrogance and reckless disregard that would allow lives to be taken and one generation to take life after life from a
future generation will also allow a generation to forge change made of mountains of debt to set on those they do allow to be born. it's wrong, and the beginning is with the indictment for allowing so many unborn to be killed. yes. having my premature baby hold on to my finger for eight hours nonstop, i came to know they want to live, they want to live. let me just finish this with a statement you ought to know, ought to be inscribed on your heart, and i want you to finish the one word end of the statement, liberty and the pursuit of happiness can never
begin until you allow life. thankthank you. god bless you for being here. [cheers and applause] >> congressman tim hills from the state of kansas. [cheers and applause] i'm here today, my wife angela and three of our four adopted children. isn't adoption great? [cheers and applause] yeah. you know, from the founding of this country to the end of the most violent institutions, it took 89 years to rid this country of slavery, 89 years. today, it's been 39 years, the most other vile institution of abortion corroded our nation. we can't wait another 50 # years. we can't wait to end abortion. we can't wait to end abortion.
thank you for being here today. [cheers and applause] >> hello, everyone. i'm bobby schilling from the great state of illinois. [cheers and applause] joined by my wife, christie, of 25 years. [cheers and applause] with six of our ten children. [cheers and applause] mother teressa said saying there's too many children is like saying there's too many flowers. we got to stick together. we got to continue this fight. adoption is a beautiful thing. we never hear them talking about that. we need to press on, stay focused, and get this to an end. god bless each and every one of you. press on.
[cheers and applause] >> thank you. i'm congressman joe barton of texas, and let me just say i wish roe v. wade was made 22 -- [inaudible] thank you for coming u out to show you're pro-life. i guarantee you that we will eliminate roe v. wade, and i hope we do it sooner rather than later. we appreciate your inspiration by coming to washington to show the country, not just the congress, that this is a pro-life country. god bless you, and god bless yours. thank you for being here. [cheers and applause]
i'm jim jordan from ohio. my favorite scripture verse, i fought the good fight, finished the course, and kept the faith. that's an attitude that characterized this country, the attitude we need most at this critical point in our nation's history. keep that in mind as you continue to fight, thank you for what you're doing, and do it with a senile on -- smile on your face. when the israelites were campedded against the philistines, and he issued the challenge of who fights goliath. david's response was he's so big, i can't miss. that's our attitude, keep it up. [cheers and applause] >> great job, jim. i'm steve from cincinnati. any fans out there? [cheers and applause]
we do. excellent. it's cold and wet, you heard a lot of speeches, i'll be brief. yesterday, january 122, was the anniversary of perhaps the most disgraceful decision ever to come out of the united states supreme court, the result in the slaughter of 53 million innocent row -- roe v. wade, and yesterday was something else. it was my birthday. thank you very much. yesterday, as i enjoyed spending my birthday with my family, i couldn't help but think of all of those precious little souls who were never born, who never got the opportunity to experience the wanders of life that we all have because their mothers decided to end their lives as they were just getting started. let's change that. let's reverse roe versus wade. [cheers and applause]
in order to do that, let's make sure that we still have a pro-life house as we do now. let's make sure let's elect a pro-life senate and perhaps -- and perhaps most importantly, let's make sure that the most proabortion president in american history no longer occupies the white house when we come back next year. [cheers and applause] thank you. god bless you all, thank you. [cheers and applause] roscoe barton, maryland. where are you? okay, thank you. abortion rates are down. one of the main reasons they are down is ultrasound. that tells everybody who sees it it's a baby.
it's just not a tissue growth. with the young people coming of age to vote, we'll make more progress in the future, and roe v. history will be history sooner than later. thank you very much. keep on keeping on. [cheers and applause] >> i'm chuck, and i hail from the great state of tennessee. [cheers and applause] i'm a freshman, but one of the issues i ran on is the right to life. let us come together as a nation whether it's rain or shine or snow or cold, this issue is the issue of our lifetime. let's stand in opposition to roe v. wade, stand up for the sanctity of life from conception until the grave, and god bless the great state of tennessee and the united states of america and god bless you all for coming out today. thank you.
[cheers and applause] >> hi, i'm from the great state of missouri, and i'm so glad -- [cheers and applause] so glad to be here and honored to be part of the largest pro-life class in congress' history and proud to serve with the largest group of pro-life women in congress and take back our country and remind them we have a creator and our creator granted us certain unalienable rights including life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. we'll stand strong for life, keep the faith, keep working, keep praying, and get involved in this election. thank you so much. [cheers and applause] >> i'm james langford from oklahoma city, and it's great to see you out here in the rain. let me just say to you thank you, god bless you for coming and standing in the rain and standing for life. you have come from all over the country, spent your money to
stand in the middle of this city and say to america, this has to end. what happened to our founders, we hold these truths to be self-evident, to be obvious, that our creator has endowed each of us with the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. it's not up to the choice of a woman to choose whether that child has the right to life. god has given that right to the child, and that is the one that makes the decision who has the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. our committee stood up and said to the obama administration you cannot go back to catholic bishops and preclude service to human trafficking because the cat lick bishops would not encourage abortion, not just provide, but even encourage abortion, and they were pushed away. we have to stand for the basic rights of every church, of every american to say that's a life, not just tissue. god bless you what you're doing. [cheers and applause] >> i'm tim walhberg congressman
from michigan 7th district. go blue, go green. [cheers and applause] thank you so much for being here. you know how much encouragement my wife and myself -- we're parents of three. we have four grandchildren, one in heaven, two on the ground, and one in the womb. [cheers and applause] who said you can't be a grandparent of one who is prebirth, but one is alive, and i look forward to meeting that little guy in less than a month. i praise god for you being here standing for life. we are a force of redemption, aren't we? redeeming those confined to death without their choice. redeeming the young ladies sold a bill of good that is a lie, and ultimately responding to the same one who said i have come that you might have life and life abundantly. he was the redeemer. we thank god for him. thank you god he feels not aborted and brought us
salvation. we, too, can follow after that pattern. god bless america as we respond to his truths and support life. thank you. [cheers and applause] >> hi, i'm bill johnson, another one of your conservative pro-life representatives from the great state of ohio. [cheers and applause] i am so honored and humbled to be here with you, the thousands of you who are showing up today to choose life. you know, our founding fathers had a right when they said that our creator endowed us with certain inalienable rights, and it was no accident that life was the first one of nose rights that they mentioned. as a father of four and as a grandfather of five, i know how precious life is, and as a 26 year veteran of the air force, i also know what the sacrifices are that are required to protect life. you can better believe that i and my colleagues here are going to continue to fight washington
to prevent your tax dollars from funding abortion. god bless you, god bless america, let's keep this fight up. thank you for being here. [cheers and applause] >> good afternoon, i'm phil from the great state of tennessee representing the appalachian mountains. thank you for being here in the rain, last year for those of you here in the cold, and for those of you who have been here for decades to carry on this fight. for the last 31 years, i made pro-life ob/gyn doctor that's delivered almost 5,000 children. [cheers and applause] the group i'm in delivered 25,000 babies. these children, i lived there long enough to see them become lawyers, doctors, teachers, little league coach, and they are my friends. i can't imagine this world
without those great people. twenty years ago i delivered a young man -- very few people get to do this -- who 18 years later, i recommended him to the air force academy, to all of those veterans out there protecting this nation would not be here. i see a sign here that said michigan loves life. so does tennessee and so do you wonderful people here to protect life. thank you, all, for coming and being out here in this weather, this brutal weather, and you have my solemn promise that the last breath in my body, i'll fight for life in this great nation. god bless each and every one of you. [cheers and applause] >> you guys look good out there. [cheers and applause] i'm allen west from the great state of florida. [cheers and applause] you know, yesterday, i used this as my devotional.
it's a book called "in god we still trust," and what i want to do is share with you the words from that devotional yesterday. it starts off i timothy 6:13. god gives life to all things. [cheers and applause] hear now the words of ronald reagan, the 40th president of the united states. abraham lincoln recognized that we could not survive as a free land when some men could decide that others were not fit to be free and therefore should be slaves. likewise, we cannot survive as a free nation which some men decide that others are not fit to live and should be abandoned to abortion. those were the words of reagan, and they resinate still to today. here are the words of abraham lincoln. my administration is dedicated
to the preservation of america as a free land and there is no cause more important for preserving that freedom than reaffirming the transcendent right to life of all human beings, the right without which no other rights have any meaning. you are here today because thomas jefferson said you have an inalienable right that came from your creator. first and foremost is life, and that's why we stand here, that's what i stand here for, each and every one of you, and may god bless you today. this fight shall not end until we protect our unborn. may god bless you all and thank you. [cheers and applause] >> thank god for such wonderful courageous members of congress. let's give them a big cheer. [cheers and applause] let's continue to support them and encourage them and let them
know that you appreciate your standing up for life. you know, the pro-life movement doesn't just stand for the babies. there are other issues involved too and that includes the end of life issues, and we all remember the tragic case of terry schiavo and all we faced in that situation. well, there's a ministry about end of life ministries that's grown out of that circumstance, and i want to introduce both bobby schindler and brother paul to talk about that. give them a hand. [cheers and applause] >> hello, pro-life america. i want to thank nellie gray for this opportunity. since 1973, i've been here at the march. usually i'm on that side. today i'm here on behalf of the
terry schiavo life and hope network. we need to proclaim as a pro-life movement in unity that we care about all life, innocent human life from womb to tomb. we need to proclaim that we will not let obamacare kill the preborn child or the elderly or the disabled. we need to remember that euthanasia follows abortion just as night will follow this day. i am on the podium here with bobby schindler, the brother of terry schiavo. i'd like bobby to say a few words to you now. >> ladies and gentlemen, we're here today to recognize the horrible truths of abortion occurring every day in our nation. we must understand the reality
that the deliberate killing of our brain injured is also happening in countless health care facilities across the country every single day. if we don't defend the value and dignity of our disabled, elderly, and medically vulnerable brothers and sisters, we'll never defeat this insidious culture of death. we need your help and are asking you and the pro-life leaders and their organizations to join us in this battle to end health care rationing and euthanasia by going to lifeandhope.com. we also want to remind those who have been elected to public office and those running for public office who claim to be pro-life the speedometer they have to protect all innocent life including those persons like my sister, terry schiavo. thank you, nellie for your
ongoing support and hay god bless you. please go to lifeandhope.com to see how you can help. thank you, all, for being here and god bless. [cheers and applause] >> i want to introduce to you for a quick moment, a word of greeting from walter hoy who is head of the national black pro-life coalition. come here, walter. [cheers and applause] >> hey, are you pro-life? [cheers and applause] god bless you. take a few minutes, i want to highlight the disperty in the african-american community. i have 30 seconds. [laughter] i want you to know that even though we account for over 30% of the abortions in the country. it ends today. this is the day we end abortion everywhere, and i want to thank you for all of your help. god bless you. [cheers and applause]
>> nellie gray brings the final word of greeting before we have the closing prayer. >> you have no idea how wonderful you look today after all, standing and suffering all the misery we have with the cold and rain. it shows the determination of the pro-life movement. it's like the rain and the cold. [cheers and applause] thank you very much for coming and bringing all of your people and i know there's many school children here, many churches and schools, i thank you, and welcome to march up to the capitol and the supreme court. god bless you. [cheers and applause] >> and now pastor luke robinson from the church from frederick, maryland is going to come and bring some remarks and our closing prayer.
pastor luke, god bless you, brother. [cheers and applause] >> god bless america, and god bless you. they've asked me to have a little bit more than 30 seconds, and i thank god for it. we love it. we got to make a change. the grace of the lord jesus christ be with all of you today. i am surely blessed by those who stand with me today, and i'm also blessed by many more who stand with me, with us, this nation, and even the whole world for the cause of life. we are here because injustice is here. 39 years ago, our supreme court decided to legally kill children in america. 39 years ago, america bought into the lies that it could not determine when human life began.
how sad and how tragic has been the consequences of this lie. these supreme ones were not wise enough to determine the beginning of human life, and thus, have plunged this nation into a bloody sea of human death with the murder of over 52 million innocent children, pre-born children. this must stop. [cheers and applause] studies have shown that abortion has tremendously increased breast cancer among women since the fatal decision handed down in roe v. wade. additionally, women have been sterilized, raped, found dead on the abortion table. this mess must change! [cheers and applause] 17 million of the aborted children, african-american children, they elect me, they
are black like me, like the president in the white house, mr. obama, but i am sorry to say today that they will never have a chance to be president of the united states. they will never have a chance to talk. they will never have a chance to love. they will never, ever have a chance to experience what we are experiencing. that's my style. on this platform and at this rally today are african-americans who, too, helped to make america a great nation. we were here in the beginning of this great republic, but today, like so many americans, our hearts are heavy, our voices need to be clearly heard for justice. [cheers and applause] we are troubled. we are troubled because our country is increasingly embracing the culture of death. we have lost the life that gave us the strength to overcome all
obstacles of our past histories. we have loss life that gave us truth we now call evil good and good evil. today, we stand here on this plats form with -- platform with all americans of good will to call for the end of killing of children by this thing called abortion. we also -- we also call for the end of the devaluation of human life. recently, i was in el salvador, i was with a former high official of that country. i was told of a sick incident of the devaluation of human life. i was told that some children were being adopted by foreigners for the purpose of taking their body parts. the adopted child was killed so that they could live. this must stop. we know that abortion is a choice, and it is a choice, but it is a bad and evil choice. it is a wrong choice. we know that some call it legal,
but dr. martin luther king jr. said from a birmingham jail that we should never forget that everything that hitler did was legal, and everything that the hungarian freedom fighters did was illegal. it was illegal to aid and covet, but jews and hitler's germany. i'm sure if he had lived in germany at that time, i would have aided and covered the jews who are my brother. he further said if today i lived in the country where certain principles make the christian faith unreal, he said, i would openly advocate disobeying that country's anti-religious principles. we must stand up in america and say we are not going to take it anymore. the african-american community
must come on board! we must start up and stand up now. [cheers and applause] we say from this platform today that the african-americans must also reject abortion because it's wrong and evil. we take note that our president, mr. obama, has spent more time with planned parenthood and organizations that has been founded to destroy the life of so many human beings made in the image of god. in fact, he's spent more time with the culture of death than he has with the culture of life and more time. he has spent more time with the culture of life of death than he has with our economic troubles. he's spent more time encouraging plannedparenthood, ect., with the outrageous killing of americans. he supports -- he says he will not support the defensive
american act, and we say we need strong families in america. we need strong families. we need godly leadership. last year, it was important that the african-american community of new york was being devastated by abortion. the report was that 60% of all the impregnations of new york city in the african-american community ended in the death of the children. that meant that out of every 100 impregnations, 60 children died and 40 lived. now suppose it was 10,000 impregnations, that means 60 thousands people died and 4,000 lived. suppose it was 100,000, that's 60,000 died and 40,000 lived. suppose it was a million people. by god, if it was a million people, that means that 600,000
people would have died and only 400,000 lived. this is a tragedy! it is a tragedy in america. it's a tragedy in the african-american community. [cheers and applause] it's genocide, destruction of a people. where is the voice of president obama? where is the voice of jesse jackson? where is the voice of al sharpton? where's the voice of the black congressional caucus? where's the voice of the great democratic party? where is senator chuck schumer of new york? where is sister senator from ?orkz? where is the voice of the naacp on this issue? where is african-american church on this issue? they are all silent for the most
part. could it be, could it possibly be that the billion dollar abortion business have brought them out? in the days of old, jesse jackson spoke out against abortion, but in 1984, he changed pro-life status to prodeath. i wonder if the abortion blood money got to him? the abortion business will spend big bucks to support those who fulfill in the killing of the children. many of these supported the evil workings of the abortion industry. they support planned parenthood, a u.s. government accountability office report says planned parenthood federation of america cannot find some $1.3 billion given to them of taxpayers'
money. why can't they find it? if you are missing a few dollars, the irs will be on your case. why can't they find it? it is reported that planned parenthood was caught aiding and abetting sex trafficking in this country. we've got to bring it to an end. there's a new under cover planned parenthood video accepting donations targeted to an african-americans alone only. if that's not a wake up call, i don't know what it is? these so-called freedom fighters are just the culture of death. they want us to be silent because the president's a black map. he and his administration and
especially the african-american are led to absolute destruction. there are none so blind as those who will not see, not so deaf as those who refuse to hear, and this november, say this november. say this november. that's november 6, 2012. we must take this nation back. we must take this nation back. [cheers and applause] we must take the nation back from the darkness and the culture of death. we must work to defeat this administration. yeah, i said it ought to be defeated. it only should have one term. no more! enough is enough!
[cheers and applause] we must work to defeat the administration, and every member of congress that doesn't have enough sense to know that life is precious in the sight of the al mighty god. they lie, america. the abortion industry and the so-called pro-choice, they are lying. we are dying. let all people and all nations get on board and stop the killing of the innocent humans. let us then move to heal women and to heal families and heal children and after the fact of what abortion has on them and is doing to this great nation. [cheers and applause] i'm almost done. that's my introduction. [laughter]
jesus said unto them, and i'll close this way. i'm the keeper of the sheep, all that came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. i am the door, but in my man enter into, he shall be saved and shall go in and out and find pasture. they have stolen our chirp. they have stolen our future. they are about to kill this nation. the thief comes but to steal. i have come so that they might have life and so that they might have it more abun adaptly. i am the good sherpt. jesus is the good shepherd. jesus is the good shepherd. [cheers and applause] i am the good shepherd and the good shepherd gives his life for the sheep.
we must put these howlings of murder, we must send them packing. life is better. we love it. we love it. we need to change. now, listen to what i said. they came out with this statement, we need change. i got a new twist to it. we need to change. we need to change these rascals before the nation be laying dead on the ground. i will look to the hills from where comes my help. my help comes from the lord who made us all, who made the heavens. god bless you and god bless america! [cheers and applause] let's do it! let's do it! [cheers and applause] let's take america back!
[cheers and applause] let's pray. thank you so much for coming. thank you for standing in this rain. all the sacrifice you make, father in the name of jesus christ, we love you because you have first loved us. we thank you, god, for the privilege of life, how you breathed into us, how you gave our source of strength, how you make this country a great country because we trusted in. you. would you please open the eyes of those who are blind so that they might see? those who refuse to see, give us grace to give them a great retirement party on november 6th, 2012? in the name of jesus, we pray, amen! [cheers and applause]
[cheers and applause] ♪ god bless america ♪ my home sweet home [cheers and applause] >> amen, amen. [cheers and applause] as we start our march today, remember now, just take your time, make sure you pick up your trash, your signs, take everything with you, take your time. if you have any problems, talk to the marshalls. the marshall life logos on the shirt and hat, and he or she will happen you. anyway, ask for a marshall if you need help. we just thank you, all, for coming out here. take your time, be in a spirit
of prayer, and while this is a beautiful sight, seeing all of you here standing up for the free born children. god bless you all. i think you guys have a couple more numbers to keep us marching? all right. remember to pick up your trash, and we'll see you on the other end. god bless. [inaudible conversations] ♪ ♪ [inaudible conversations]
>> participants in the march for life heading now to the supreme court. it's about eight blocks away from the speakers rally here at the national mall in washington, d.c.. on the other side of the capitol, marching this day, one day after the 39th anniversary of the supreme court's ruling of roe v. wade, a women's right to privacy under the 14th amendment extended to the decision to have an abortion. [inaudible conversations]
>> both the house and senate in this afternoon at two o'clock eastern time. you can watch the house live on c-span where members will work on a bill dealing with the electronic duck stamp, and the big issue later this week, repealing part of the health care law covering assisted living for seniors. the senate will vote today on a judicial nomination for a seat in nebraska, and later this week, they'll consider the $1 trillion debt ceiling increase. live coverage of the senate here on c-span2.
>> mr. speaker, the president of the united states. [cheers and applause] >> tuesday night, president obama delivers his state of the union address. live coverage begins at 8 p.m. eastern including the president's speech, republican response by indiana governor, mitch daniels, and your phone calls live on c-span and c-span radio. on c-span2, watch the president's speech and tweets from congress, and after the address, more reaction from
house members and senators. go online for live video throughout the night and add your comments using facebook and twitter at c-span.org. [cheers and applause] >> you may have just been following the live coverage from the march for life. the participants at the rally heading right now to the steps of the supreme court. earlier, nellie gray who founded the march, spoke to the crowd. >> we love our country. we love the innocent pre-born children. we love the abortionists we're trying to show and educate that they should not be active in the intentional killings of thousands and thousands of innocent pre-born children so that we focus today as we want to focus throughout the year, but beginning today, these words of unity on the life principles without any exception, without any compromise, we will save the right to life of each innocent
human being, any existence at fertilization so help us god. [cheers and applause] we must be certain to remind our officials that this is not something unusual for america. our founding documents put in them the right to life endowed by our creator so that we understand from the beginning america was, indeed, a land understanding a right to life for each human being. we march today on the sadness that unfortunately there's an abortion industry in our country. in industry has begun to build itself and how does that happen? it begins with their language. they want to deceive the world
that what they are doing in the intentional killing of the innocent preborn children is something that is a right, it's a choice, and so with language, they have developed, unfortunately, a killing industry for our country. we make comments to our president and our members of our government that we come here today to remind them that when each and every member of our government awakened this morning, they're participating and giving allowance for the intentional killing of 3,000 innocent preborn children today, and that's now averaged out for the whole of the time of roe v. wade to more than 50 # million innocent preborn children and victimizing mothers of those children and fathers of those
children and those of us and brers and sisters of those children and unfortunately, 50 million children have been killed by the permission of our government. we look at other incidents where we have participated in evils, the nuremburg trials tug us the suicide, the killing of innocent human beings is a crime against humanity, and our government must begin to understand they are participating in crimes against humanity which cannot be made legal. we're asking our government to overturn roe v. wade, but they don't seem to understand that roe v. wade is not the law of the land, but rather it is an evil imposed on our country.
many people participating in the pro-life movement have felt there was something about an incremental approach that we do little by little by little, but that little by little by little has made the abortionists feel very confident that they have some kind of a right, and so the incremental approach must be abandoned right now. we go to the life principles, no exceptions, no compromise. [cheers and applause] you know, the reason you and i come to this today, our government actually authorized this intentional killing. they authorized it in the name of you and me too so that, unfortunately, they are making us part of their industry, and that is, indeed, what we have to
overcome. now, these life principles were put together at the beginning of the very first march for life, and what they simply say in about seven items or so is that we understand that human life begins at fertilization. the only thing about roe v wade is the ere roe in which our supposedly supreme court justices, they don't know when life begins. isn't that amazing that all of these wonderful -- >> and we are looking here at the capitol, some of the marchers just left the march for life rally, some of the speeches from earlier, and here on the capitol also the senate about to gavel in shortly. senators will begin their day with about two hours of general speeches before turning to a judicial no , nomination of prt
obama's nominating a nebraska supreme court judge for a federal judgeship in nebraska and senators will vote at 5:30 eastern. wisdom and might, with renewed powers and refreshed spirits, we return to this national chamber of deliberation. we begin our work with the awareness that without you, nothing of significance can be accomplished. be the guardian and guide of our senators as they travel the unbeaten path into our national future.
grant them wisdom and courage for the living of these days. we pray in your sacred name. amen. the presiding officer: please join me in reciting the pledge of allegiance to the flag. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. the presiding officer: the clerk will read a communication to the senate. the clerk: washington, d.c, january 23, 2012. to the senate: under the provisions of rule 1, paragraph 3, of the standing rules of the senate, i hereby appoint the honorable
richard blumenthal, a senator from the state of connecticut, to perform the duties of the chair. signed: daniel k. inouye, mr. reid: mr. president? the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. reid: i first of all welcome everyone back. after the long break that we had. i hope it was restful and productive for everyone. we have, a every four, as happer years, we have a presidential election year, and as a result of that, things should be more tense than usual but i certainly hope not. mr. president, there are two bills at the desk due for a second reading. the presiding officer: the clerk will read the titles of the bill for a second time. the clerk: h.r. 440, an act to provide for the establishment of the special envoy to promote religious freedom of religious minorities in the near east and south central asia. h.r. 3012, an act to amend the immigration and nationality act to eliminate the per-country numerical limitation and so forth and for other purposes. mr. reid: mr. president, i'd object to further proceedings in
regard to these two bills. the presiding officer: the objection is heard. mr. reid: mr. president, the senate will be in morning business until 4:00 today -- the presiding officer: the bills will be placed on the calendar. mr. reid: oh, yes. i'm so sorry. i do that all the time. i apologize. mr. president, the senate -- senators be permitted to speak for up to ten minutes each until 4:00 today. following that morning business, the senate will proceed to executive session to consider the nomination of john gerrard to be a united states district judge for the district of nebraska. at 5:30, we will vote on confirmation of that matter. i ask unanimous consent that the cloture motion with respect to the motion to proceed to calendar number 70, s. 968, be vitiated. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection. mr. reid: mr. president, i was saddened to hear that senator mark kirk suffered a stroke over the weekend. he had surgery this morning. i followed it as closely as i have been able to. and the doctors say that he'll recover and i'm confident that's
true. he's young and in very good health. and i -- i wish him very -- a full and speedy recovery and look forward to his returning to his work here in the senate as soon as possible. mr. president, winston churchill said -- and i quote -- "courage is what it takes to stand up and speak." courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen. that's what winston churchill said. i know each of my colleagues here in the senate, regardless of political party, has the courage to stand up and speak in defense of his or her principles. this year i hope we each find the courage and faith to listen and cooperate as well. the founders in their wisdom, when drafting our constitution, created a divided government. that's what they did with this bicameral legislature that they envisioned. they also looked to see a robust debate on important issues.
i don't believe they envisioned the obstructionism and gridlock that ground the work of the congress to a halt last year. influenced by these tea party voices, republicans forced us to waste months on routine legislation that nearly shut down our government and held hostage the full faith and credit of the united states. so i remind my republican colleagues that not every discussion, every matter that we deal with should collapse into a fight. we don't have to fight about everything. every piece of legislation we consider should not result in a political battle. when we work together, we achieve greater results for the american people. that's why this year, democrats and republicans must seek common ground. we must also admit it when we find that common ground and work on that common ground that we've discovered. we should all be able to agree on this -- congress must do whatever it takes to help create
jobs and strengthen our economy. democrats believe it will take commonsense policies that protect the middle class and smart investments to rebuild our roads, bridges, schools, our water systems, our sewer syste systems. we must combat income inequality now, or the rich will keep getting richer and the poor getting poorer while the middle class disappears. that's not fiction. it's fact. mr. president, i watched on public television just a -- within the past week or so a wonderful piece by bill moyer's "journal." i was so impressed with that. and i called and spoke to him afterwards and i'm not in the habit of calling people like that very often. but over the years, we've spoken a couple times, three or four times probably over the many years i've been here. the reason i was so impressed with what he said, it reminded me i think of what a lot of people should be reminded. he talked about going to a
public elementary school. he talked about going to a public high school. a state-supported university. and during all this time, of going to libraries, public libraries. we have to understand, mr. president, that government has been so helpful to most of us and we can't turn away from the institutions of government which have been so important to us over the years. so i repeat, we must combat income inequality and combat it now or the rich will keep getting richer, the poor getting poorer and the middle class being squeezed all the more. i repeat, that's not fiction, it's a fact. so we democrats will continue to defend working americans and we hope republicans will join us in that regard. but if they allow the tea party to turn every issue into an -- i'm sorry, into an all-or-nothing battle, we can't back down, we shouldn't back
down and we'll always side with the middle class. we saw the results of republican brinksmanship in december. now, mr. president, i was on a -- well, i won't talk about tv shows but i -- as soon as we had the vote here, i walked up to the press gallery, as i was requested to do, and i complimented publicly my republican colleague, senator mcconnell, and i was happy that it did get some press. because senator mcconnel mcconnd i made an arrangement here to complete this legislation and i stuck by that. i know he had tremendous pressure and i don't -- i will not -- cannot understand all the pressure he did have but i admire and appreciate what he did in sticking with what the senate did. so, mr. president, we then refused to give up on a tax cut for hard-working families and it turned out really well. because the members of congress
came to the realization that the american people said they couldn't afford a thousand dollar tax hike. putting money back in the pockets of 160 million american workers shouldn't have been so difficult, shouldn't have been a fight in the first place. i hope we all learned a lesson from this battle. so it's time for us to stop fighting. i repeat, mr. president, we don't have to fight about everything. there comes a time -- and that time is now -- when we need to have the courage to stand up and fight for things that are right. this year will be just as important when we summon the courage to sit down and listen rather than stand up and fighting. we need to sit down and listen more often.
mr. reid: mr. president, the republican leader and i, we deal with a lot of issues that come up in the senate here and some of them are difficult, but the one thing we always have kind of a diversion for us is we follow our college athletics in our respective states. and i've been very fortunate in nevada to have the university of nevada, have a very good football team the last five or six or seven years. i won't talk about unlv's football team. its not worth doing, as i've told the university president. but we also have in nevada -- and this is always the way it is in kentucky -- they always have good basketball teams. but we've been doing very well in recent years, especially at unlv. and now, u.n.r. has i believe the longest winning record in
division i basketball. they've only lost three games. unlv's only lost three games. so it's -- we have fun in our own few minutes together talking about basketball. i've never seen a more avid fan of university of louisville. he, of course, follows the university of kentucky, which is easy to follow because their teams are always so good. but so is louisville's team. and louisville and unlv have had in recent years some very, very tight basketball battles. so, mr. president, i just want you and everyone else to know that senator mcconnell and i do on occasion divert from the business of the senate. mr. mcconnell: mr. president, i would just add that -- the presiding officer: the republican leader -- mr. mcconnell: -- we do enjoy our sports discussions. the -- of course, i always have the ultimate trump, which is the university of kentucky's won seven ncaa championships. university of louisville, two.
and so my friend is always trying to catch up. and i would say that -- mr. reid: only eight more to go. mr. mcconnell: unlv has a good team this year. probably not as good as kentuc kentucky. maybe as good as louisville. but it does give us an opportunity to catch up on each other's teams every day as we -- as we head to the floor. mr. president, let me just start on a sort of sober note by saying we're all thinking of our colleague, mark kirk. it's at moments like these that we're all reminded of how fragile life is and that there are far more important things in life than politics. so we send mark and his family our prayers and our wishes for a speedy recovery. now i'd like to begin my remarks today by simply stating the obvious -- the jobs crisis we're
in continues for millions of americans. many millions more are worried about the future and republicans are quite eager to work with the democratic majority here in the senate to jump start our economy and set our nation on an entirely different course than the one we've been on the last few years. let's be clear. the reason our economy has gotten worse and our future more uncertain has nothing to do with what republicans in congress won't do at some point in the future and everything to do with what this president has already done. americans are looking for an entirely new direction. it's one that focuses on growing the economy, not growing our nation's debt. so we're happy to work with the democratic majority in the senate to achieve these goals. but based on some of the news stories i've read over the last few weeks, it doesn't appear
that they're all that interested. based on what i've read, it appears democratic leaders right here in the senate have gotten together with the white house and mapped out a plan to actually guarantee gridlock for the rest of the year. now, this is a sort of stunningly cynical strategy when you think about it. millions of americans can't find work. the average length of unemployment is the longest it has ever been. hundreds of thousands of americans who had a job when this president took office have simply dropped out of the work force. and yet the washington democrat plan for this year is to sit on their hands and blame it on the other guy. i certainly hope this was just a couple of overzealous staffers saying this. i hope our democratic friends haven't really decided that this is how they plan to spend the rest of this year. i hope they haven't given up on governing in favor of
campaigning and complaining. because tomorrow's phrase facing up to the economic crisis we face can't wait. democrats in congress can't simply throw in the towel because they're no longer getting everything they want. i mean, the fact is, mr. president, democrats got everything they wanted for two years -- for two years after this president was elected. the american people decided to impose a little balance in the november 2010 election. and they're still waiting for this white house and democratic leaders in congress to work on a different approach. so it's about time we got started. president obama's three-year experiment with big government has made our economy worse and our future more uncertain. americans want a government that is simpler, streamlined, and secure. but we won't be able to achieve these things if democrats refuse to even try, if they've decided
to spend the next year on showboats and legislation that's designed for bus tours instead of bill signings. the number-one issue facing our country is jobs, and the number-one goal of republicans in 2012 is to continue to make it easier for american small business to create jobs. we will accomplish this by focusing on three things: fundamental tax reform, regulatory reform, and energy security. but we'll surely fail if the democratic majority here in the senate refuses to help. so republicans will continue to make the case for policies that will spark an economic revival and create new opportunities for struggling americans. and we hope the democrats will join us. tomorrow the president will come to the capital to tell us what he thinks about the state of our country and to outline his plans for the future. we welcome him. we look forward to his address.
we stand ready to work with him, as always, on an agenda that will get our nation moving again. not an agenda to divide, not a repackaging of the same ideas that have made our economy worse and our future more uncertain, but a truly bipartisan jendz that gets us beyond past skirmishes and onto a different path entirely. there's much we can and should do together. let's focus on that and put the rest aside. the presiding officer: under the previous order, the leadership time is reserved. under the previous order, there will now be a period of morning business until 4:00 p.m. with senators permitted to speak therein for up to 10 minutes. the senator from nebraska.
mr. nelson: thank you, mr. president. i rise today to speak on behalf of an outstanding nebraskan, state supreme court justice john gear regarded. his nomination to fill a vacancies on the united states district court is now before the senate. john gerard has built an exceptional record in priests practice and on the nebraska supreme court and will do an exemplary job as a u.s. district judge fa the district of nebraska. i've known him for more than 20 years and believe he has the experience, the intellect and temperament needed on our federal bench. i can't think of anyone better-qualified than john gerard. i was very pleased the president nominated him. i've welcomed my colleague, senator johanns' strong support and i believe the senate should confirm him for the position of a u.s. district court judge.
gerard, a native of skylar, nebraska, has served as a private attorney, a city attorney, council to several public schools districts in nebraska and has an outstanding public record as a judge. in private practice, judge gerrard tried dozens of cases in state and federal courts. he was highly respected as a trial attorney earning an a.v. martindale hubbell ratings from his colleagues and he was elected to the american board of trial advocates by his peers. i appointed him in 1995 to the nebraska supreme court during my ten your as governor. nebraska voters have shown their confidence in him by retaining hinl in office three times. he's consistently received top ratings by the nebraska state bar association in its biennial judicial evaluations.
particularly in the areas of legal analysis, judicial temperament, and fair treatment of litigants and their lawyers. furthermore, the nebraska judicial system gave him its distinguished judge for improvement of judicial system award in 2006. this was in recognition of his work as cochair of the system's minority justice committee and the interpreter advisory committee, as well as leading initiatives promoting racial and ethnic fairness under the law. also in 2008, the nebraska state bar foundation gave him its legal pioneer award. this was for make the courts more user friendly for citizens from all cultures by utilizing technology and other means to improve both understanding and participation in the courts. i note that on the nebraska supreme court, judge gerrard has authored more than 450 opinions
and he is widely considered a leader on that court. judge gerrard is held in the high eflt regarded by both the judge and the bar in nebraska and the american bar association has deemed him -- quote -- "unanimously well-qualified" to serve as a u.s. district judge. judge gerrard maintains the same even temperament off the bench as he does on the bench. clearly he is an exemplary person who has contributed much to our society. furthermore, he and his wife nancy have been married for 34 years and have raised four exceptional children. i'd also note that during my years as governor, i a appointed 81 judges in the state of nebraska including the entire nebraska state supreme court. since i've been in the senate, i voted on numerous judicial nominees. in all cases i've supported candidates for the judiciary who convince me they would follow
the law and would not manipulate it to promote a personal or activist agenda. this is a critical test for me and it's relevant concerning justice gerrard. i am convinced he would not allow personal beliefs to interfere with his judicial duties nor would he bring an activist agenda to the federal bench. he is he has proven this beyond a doubt with his disciplined approached to the low over the last 16 1/2 years as a judge on the nebraska supreme court. questions, however, have been raised to justice gerrard on these points. he's been asked whether a matter may be constitutional one day and not the next based upon a changing legal landscape. he's answered for the record that the u.s. supreme court and the circuit court sets the binding precedent on whether a matter is constitutional, which he would follow as a district judge. and he stated that a federal
district court judge can conclude that the law has changed only by legislation or by a ruling by a higher court. justice gerrard has a clear understanding of the limitations of a federal district court judge. he has demonstrated that understanding and in the deference he has given to the legislative branch and to higher court precedent during his years on the nebraska supreme court. he's also been asked specifically whether he has personal beliefs that would make him unable to carry out the death penalty. again, he's answered for the record that he does not. and more to the point, nebraska carried out the death penalty while i was governor and justice gerrar diswas serving on the nebraska supreme court. the court has confurred in establishing an excuse date to take place this march 6 in the
state of nebraska. now, issuing and executing a death sentence is one of the most solemn responsibilities that the judicial and executive branches are entrusted with. in every instance, justice gerrard has ruled on the death penalty, he has been balanced, even-handed and faithful to the constitution. in fact, judge gerrard has confirmed for the record that the u.s. supreme court and nebraska supreme court have repeatedly held that the death penalty san acceptable punishment as long as the laws for imposing it are followed and the constitution limitations imposed by the u.s. supreme court are respected. finally, judge gerrard has state and the record shows that he's voted to confirm a number of sentences and convictions of those sentenced to death and he has authored more than one state court opinion upholding the constitutionality of nebraska's
death penalty law. in my view, judge gerrard's answers and his clear record more than adequately address any concerns about his ability or willingness to both apply the law with impartiality and to carry out the law effectively. to sum up, john gerrard deserves to be confirmed by the united states senate because he is he has an outstanding legal record, possesses the proper prament needed on the -- proper temperament and will carry out the law not he's sees it but under the law. i urge his confirmation by my colleagues and with that, i yield the floor. *and i note the absence of a quoarm quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll quorum call:
aside. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. johanns: mr. president, i am very pleased to today rise in support of a man who has proven himself worthy to serve as a federal judge in the united states district court. justice john gerrard has experience, integrity, and respect for the constitution, all of which are necessary for someone serving on our federal bench. he has earned the respect and the admiration of the spaoepl of nebraska. he consistent -- of the people of nebraska. he consistently receives top ratings from the nebraska state bar association. and the people of nebraska have expressed their confidence in him not once, not twice, but three times, voting to retain him on the bench. justice gerrard has authored
hundreds of opinions throughout his 16 years as a member of the nebraska supreme court. these decisions reveal with clarity his philosophy regarding the powers and the limitations of a judge. they reflect his commitment to adhere to the constitution and the laws of our great nation. when asked about judicial restraint after his nomination to the u.s. district court, justice gerrard responded -- quote -- "i firmly believe that a judge should rely on the admissible evidence and applicable law, and nothing else when rendering a decision." he further responded -- quote -- "i do not believe a judge should consider his or her own values or policy preferences in determining what the law means. and i've never done so at any
time in my judicial career." unquote. this unequivocal statement says a lot. justice gerrard knows that his more than 450 opinions are a matter of public record and that they are open to everyone's scrutiny. and he has welcomed that. he has welcomed it with humility. you won't hear him boast about being the youngest person ever appointed to my home state's high court. nor will you hear him boast about his successful years as a private attorney and city attorney. and they were successful. he is absolutely unassuming, he's reflective, and he's articulate. he speaks with great reverence about the oath he took to uphold the constitution. i didn't know justice gerrard prior to his appointment to the nebraska supreme court, but he
quickly developed a reputation as a disciplined judge who renders very-well researched opinions. i believe that justice gerrard is a worthy member to join the u.s. district court, and so i stand here today, mr. president, urging my colleagues to vote in favor of his confirmation. i would like also to spend a moment to talk about the process that brought us here this morning. in this regard, i would like to offer my appreciation and thanks to my colleague from nebraska, the senior senator, ben nelson. senator nelson called me before this nomination was made and asked for my input. i took that opportunity to sit down with judge gerrard and to talk to him. and after our meeting and knowing what i knew about the justice, it was my decision to
support his nomination to the united states district court. in fact, i would say that if i had total control of this nomination, i would do it all over again. this is a fine man. this is a man that i hope will have strong bipartisan support this afternoon when we vote on making him a united states district judge. he's a good man, and he deserves a strong bipartisan vote. he is going to adhere to the laws of our nation with integrity, humility and a strict adherence to the law. mr. president, thank you. i yield the floor. i note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
mr. sessions: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from alabama. morning business is closed. senator, there still is a quorum call in effect. mr. sessions: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: thank you. the morning business is closed. under the previous order, the senate will proceed to executive session to consider the following nomination, which the clerk will report. the clerk: nomination, the judiciary, john m. gerrard of nebraska to be united states district judge for the district of nebraska. the presiding officer: under the previous order, there will be 90 minutes for debate with 60 minutes divided in the usual form and 30 minutes under the
control of the senator from alabama. mr. sessions: mr. president, i would ask that i be notified after 12 minutes. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. sessions: mr. president, by all accounts, judge gerrard on the nebraska supreme court is a good man with a good family and many friends, and as -- has done a pretty good job over the years, maybe a good job over the years as a capable, practicing jurist now on the supreme court of nebraska. i will vote against that nomination reluctantly, and i really don't want to in one sense, but it raises -- his nomination raises an important issue about the duty of a judge to be faithful to the law and to
commit to serve under the law and under the constitution as the oath for federal judges requires. in other words, you are a servant to the law. you honor the law. you venerate the law. you follow the law whether or not you like it, whether or not you think it's a good idea, whether or not had you been at the constitutional convention in the 1700's, 1780's, you would have voted for that phrase or not voted for that phrase, or whether if you had been in the house or the senate, you would have worked to change the constitution or change the law of the state of nebraska. those are matters that are outside the province of a judge if they choose to be involved in policy setting, policy matters, then they ought to invest themselves in the policy-setting branches of the legislative and executive branch branches. so judges are, as justice
roberts said so wonderfully, neutral umpires. they don't take sides in the game. they enforce the rules of the game, how those rules have been written and established is -- and what motivations pass -- cause the congress to pass them or not is not the critical issue. so it was a very troubling matter to me that reveal an activist tendency in this judge and it was the case of state versus moore. the case of state versus moore in nebraska is very significant because it raises quite clearly these very issues.
so in the moore case, judge gerrard took an active role as one of the members of the court. mr. moore had been on death row since 1980. he had confessed to murdering two people. he had appealed to the nebraska supreme court three times. three times the nebraska supreme court had denied his appeals, and he had quit appealing, and in fact he filed a motion and said that he didn't desire any more appeals. his pleadings said he no longer wished to challenge his sentence, and he was being set for the execution that by law he deserved. and the judge intervened on his own motion and stated that even though no pleading had been
filed, and he did it on the basis that while he was set for electrocution and that he was aware that another judge in another court that was coming up apparently to the supreme court of nebraska dealt with the constitutionality of the death by electrocution statute. apparently, the judge didn't like the death by electrocution statute, but he stopped it. technically, i'm not sure that was correct. he was quit sized -- criticized by three members of the court, but he did that. and then the case came before the court, this other case, the matta case, and the judge then confronted the judgment question of whether or not utilization of electrocution is a
constitutional matter. now, in nebraska and most states, you have two stiewgz. you have the united states -- two constitutions. you have the united states constitution and you have the nebraska constitution. and as is often the case, the exact same words with regard to the death penalty is in the u.s. and nebraska constitutions. the constitution prohibits the carrying out of a death penalty by cruel or unusual means. cruel and unusual actually is the phrase. so it must be cruel and it must be unusual to be unconstitutional. otherwise, states can all carry out death penalties as they choose. and in fact, at the time the constitution was adopted, every colony, every state that formed our union had a death penalty. the united states had a death penalty. there are multiple references in
the united states constitution to the imposition of a death penalty. it says, for example, you can't deny a person life without due process. it makes reference to capital crimes, which are death penalty crimes, and there are several multiple references to that. so implicit in the constitution itself is a constitutional acceptance of the ability of the united states congress or the united states legislatures to impose a death penalty. the constitution was no way ever thought to be a document that would have prohibited all death penalty cases, but there became a movement in the middle of the last center and later that the death penalty was bad and that judges should overthrow it. and actually two judges on the supreme court opposed every death penalty case because they said it was cruel and unusual.
that wasn't the constitution. they were allowing their personal views about the wisdom or lack of it of the death penalty to influence their judicial decisionmaking. how can you say the constitution prohibits the death penalty when it makes multiple references to the death penalty? and every state and the federal government have been utilizing the death penalty since the republic was founded. so i'm not debating death penalty. i'm not debating the death penalty. good people can disagree. now, it will be brought up right on the floor of this congress, right on the floor of the legislature of nebraska, alabama, texas, new york, and they will decide whether you want to have one and how it will be carried out. now, the constitution does say, however, that you can't use cruel and unusual methods of death penalty because they
understood that. they didn't want people to be drawn and quartered and chopped up and things like that, burned in fires. the accepted penalties at that time was a firing squad and hanging, generally. that's what the approved in most states were. we still have a state -- at least one state today that allows firing squad. we still have -- i think some that have hanging, but most states have gone more and more to lethal injection, and a number -- quite a number still have electrocution. so the question of electrocution was brought up. a guy was defending a person who had been declared to die as a result of his crimes, and they objected saying electrocution was cruel and unusual.
in 1890, 1890, the supreme court ruled that was not unconstitutional, and then again it was ruled in 1947 that the death penalty was not cruel and unusual punishment, and since that time up until recent years, most -- i'd say perhaps even a majority of states used the death penalty as being less painful and more consistent with our values than firing squad or hanging. so it was seen as a reform, a better way to carry out the severe penalty of death. but -- and supreme court has repeatedly denied appeals that seek to raise again that electrocution as being unconstitutional.
the supreme court of the united states. so this other case came up in nebraska, state versus mata and it squarely challenged the constitutional ality of electrocution. although it and that the nebraska supreme court had always held, nebraska had held previously that electrocution was not cruel and unusual, the judge asserted, judge -- judge gerrard as part of the opinion that he signed onto that -- quote -- "a changing legal landscape raises questions regarding the continuing vitality of that conclusion." i'm not aware of any changing landscape that would justify any
change in that, really. i think one state in the united states out of 50 has held that electrocution is not appropriate. i don't know how they can say it violates the cruel and unusual statute. i'm not sure how they could possibly have so ruled but they did, so it came up before this court. and -- the mata case came up before the court, and to sum it up, let me just say that they concluded, contrary to the ruling of the nebraska supreme court, contrary to the ruling of the united states supreme court, that electrocution amounts to a cruel and unusual punishment, and eliminated and stayed the execution of two individuals, mr. mata and the
mr. moore. so i guess what i would say, mr. president, is this: we all in this body have to make a decision about whether judges make errors, which they sometimes do, and then how serious those errors are and what do those errors reflect about the ability of the judge to fulfill the oath that they take. and the oath, remember, is to serve under the constitution, under the laws of the united states, due equal justice to the rich and the poor, and to follow the law in effect, whether you like it or not. so i think this was not a little bitty matter. i think the people of the united states and judges on the supreme courts of the united states have dealt with death penalty cases for some time. the american people have been
called upon on a number of occasions to eliminate death penalties in their states. a few have. most have not. i thank the chair. and so 30 minutes have been set aside for my time? is that correct? the presiding officer: that is correct. 30 minutes in total and the senate has now used just short of -- just over 13. mr. sessions: 13. i would ask to be notified after seven additional minutes. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. sessions: so this is not a little bitty matter. the matter has gone to the supreme court. electrocution was passed by legislatures and voters for one reason, they thought it was a way to carry out a grim death penalty sentence in a way better than -- less painful than
firing squads, and hanging. so that's why they did that. it was not any more cruel and unusual. less cruel and unusual. and death is instantaneous and it's an effective method consistent with our constitution as the supreme court held and as previously the nebraska supreme court held. so here we are in this political body and i've been -- we've heard the debates and a lot of good people with very plausible arguments -- i don't agree with them, but i respect them -- say we just shouldn't have a death penalty. this is matter for us to debate and talk about as american citizen is. but it's not a matter for judges to effectively decide by altering the plain meaning and principles of the united states constitution because they think it's the right thing.
they are not legislators. and this is a big issue around the country. people are tired of it. they say, well, people are not happy with the judges and they don't understand law. well, they understand the death penalty. they've considered i it. their elected representatives have voted on it, and it has been approved in most states, and they expect their judges to carry out their laws. unless it plainly violates the constitution of the state or nation. and i would just suggest that i believe this decision was a product of an ill will or a bias against the death penalty consistent with the effort of a lot of people working around the legal system every day -- i was attorney general of alabama, chief prosecutor in the state.
i was a united states attorney for 12 years. so i've wrestled with these issues. i know how the deal works. everybody in the system understands what this is. and for the supreme court of nebraska to hold that electrocution violates the cruel and unusual clause of the constitution of nebraska or the united states -- they said in this case nebraska which has exactly the same language as the u.s. supreme court. for them to rule that way, i believe is outside the bounds of what i'm willing to accept. we got people who say, oh, there are evolving standards of decency, evolving legal principles, evolving national and international law says we ought to change. huh huh. american people rule, they elect their representatives and
judges have one obligation to enforce the law unless it's plainly contrary to the constitution. so my opinion as someone who has been in the legislature, had to defend death penalties as the attorney general of the state of alabama, my opinion, declaring electrocution to be a unconstitutional method of imposing the death penalty steps out of objective, neutral judging and evidences plain activist tendency to promote a result. and i think it's compounded by the fact that the judge went out of his way, contrary to other judges' wishes on the court, to lead an effort to stay one execution until they could take up this other case and then to rule on a narrow 5-4 version that it was indeed
unconstitutional. and mr. moore remains now since 1980, even today, still on the death row. people are unhappy about that. they rightly think the law is not working, there's too much politics in it, that people are undermining duly enacted laws. there was no question of this defendant's guilt, he murdered two people, and he confessed to it. so that's the way i feel about it. i can see a lot of other people saying, well, he's a good man, he's a smart lawyer, he'll do a good job on the bench. i hope he does. but i'm not voting for judges as i've said before, who won't establish that they are willing to follow the law even if they don't like it. and particularly i am very
reluctant to support judges who i believe in this most controversial area, where much debate has occurred, that they in one form or another take extraordinary, unlawful steps, in my view, to undermine the death penalty. because they don't like it. and you say, well, somebody else says that that may have been a mistake, but it's not disqualifying. i will respect other people's opinions. i'm not calling on other people today to reject judge gerrard. as i said, by all accounts he's a good man. what i'm saying is i don't feel comfortable voting for someone based on a legal issue like this that i personally dealt with over the years, and i would not oppose him if he personally
opposes the death penalty, that's fine. but as a judge, he's required to carry it out in an effective way. we've had far too much way obstruction of the death penalty and i hope we'll see an end to it and we'll get judges on the bench who will follow the law and not make law. i thank the chair and would yield the floor and reserve the balance of time. a senator: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from nebraska. mr. johanns: may i ask if the senator tearm would yield three minutes so by have a further opportunity to speak on justice gerrard? mr. sessions: i would. i believe if i would ask an inquiry there is considerable time left on the other side? but you can certainly have time on my side. the presiding officer: there is about 10 minutes left, i believe. mr. sessions: i yield such time as i have to the senator from
nebraska. mr. johanns: mr. president, i thank tax tropical storm -- i tk the senator from alabama for yielding the time. one thing i wanted to start out with is the senator from alabama and i would almost always agree about judicial appointments. it's a very unusual situation that we would be in any kind of disagreement greament. in fact --, disagreement. in fact, many times i seek out the senator from alabama and say tell me a little bit more about this nominee. i am here this afternoon with great respect for the gentleman from alabama's views of judicial nominees. i have very strong feelings, though, about justice gerrard and i've had an opportunity to watch this man on the nebraska supreme court for many years.
in my view -- and i doubt that there would be many that would disagree with this -- in my view, judges, especially federal judges, judges should follow the law. not their own inclinations, not their own personal preferences, not their own personal feelings on a matter or a controversy before them. so i think we really need to examine this issue very carefully. now, there's been some suggestion that justice gerrard might seek to craft his own preferred outcomes instead of following the law, and i'd like to respond to that. the concerns, of course, relate to a case out of nebraska, state of nebraska versus moore. in that case, justice gerrard ordered a stay of a death warrant pending the outcome of a another case, the nebraska supreme court was considering.
at issue in the second case was whether the death penalty by electrocution as provided by nebraska's statute was consistent with the nebraska constitution. because the defendant in moore was scheduled to die by electrocution, justice gerrard stayed the warrant pending the court's decision in that second case. in the majority opinion in moore, justice gerrard noted that the court was using its inherent authority to stay the warrant. now, let me, if i might, mr. president, take a moment to explain what justice gerrard was saying there. some have concluded that what he was saying that he was calling on some nebulous, indistinct legal authority merely to cloak his own wishes. but i would suggest
respectfully, mr. president, that justice gerrard has fully and very satisfactory -- satisfactorily explained exactly what he meant by the specific choice of those words. he was in fact carefully using authorities granted to him by nebraska law. as the judge explained in a letter, nebraska law provides that the nebraska supreme court is directly responsible for issuing the order of execution of prisoners sentenced to death. so when judge gerrard used his inherent authority to stay the execution at issue in moore, he was using authority granted by nebraska statute to order the execution in the first place.
in other words, the court, the nebraska supreme court by nebraska law has the power to issue the order and then deal with that order in the future. this is what judge gerrard said in his letter and a series of questions that were posed to him relative to his nomination for the u.s. district court. he said, and i'm quoting, "the inherent authority referred to in the moore order was only the court's inherent authority to control the implementation of its own orders. just as any court at any level can control its own orders." i should note also that judge gerrard makes plain that he considered the death penalty to be the law of the land, one that he must uphold. on the question of whether the death penalty is constitutional, justice gerrard writes --
quote -- "i'm aware of no authority nor any persuasive evidence supporting a conclusion that the death penalty itself is unconstitutional. our court has concluded in multiple cases that the death penalty itself is constitutional and i have joined in and authored many of those decisio decisions." mr. president, as i have indicated in my remarks in support of this nominee, i do believe that judge gerrard will base his decisions on the evidence before him and the applicable law. i've had an opportunity to watch him do that for years and years. that's what he'll do. he'll base his decisions on the evidence before him and the applicable law and nothing else. furthermore, he has earned the respect and support of nebraskans who three times voted to return him to the bench.
i believe he's well qualified to serve our nation in the federal courts as a district judge. justice gerrard's nomination deserves our support and i, again, urge my colleagues to support him today. thank you, mr. president. i yield the floor. mr. leahy: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from vermont. mr. leahy: mr. president, i want to compliment the senator from nebraska for his comments. i totally agree with him. and i would ask consent to insert in the record my statement on judicial nominations and my strong support of john gerrard of nebraska, as though read. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. leahy: and, mr. president, i ask to proceed as in morning business to speak about an important effort to help the american economic recovery and preserve american jobs. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. leahy: we have rogue web sites, mr. president, that are
primarily based overseas. they're stealing american property. they're harming american consumers, they're hurting the american economic recovery, and they're costing american jobs. you know, stealing and counterfeiting are wrong and they're harmful and it's happening every day right under our noses and we lose jobs and we americans lose money as a result. the institute for policy innovation estimates the copyright infringement alone costs more than $50 billion a year, and the sale of counterfeits on-line is estimated to be several times that. the afl-cio estimates that hundreds of thousands of jobs are lost to these forms of theft. hundreds of thousands of jobs that we could have right here in
america if it wasn't for this kind of thievery. and it's not just an economic or jobs problem for americans, it's a consumer safety issue. according to a study released earlier this year, a couple doesn't -- excuse me. a couple dozen web sites selling counterfeit prescription drugs had more than 140,000 visits a day. counterfeit medication, brake lining and other products threaten america's safety. excuse me. i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. mr. leahy: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from vermont. mr. leahy: i ask consent the call of the quorum be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. leahy: mr. president, i'd
ask that the call of the quorum not disrupt the record of my speech. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. leahy: when you talk about counterfeit medication, you talk about the thievery, you talk about the hundreds of thousands of american jobs lost, there's serious concerns. and the kind of concerns i've had in mind over the last several years as i've worked with senators on both sides of the aisle to help resolve these problems. now, i admire and i respect the marvelous advances of technolo technology, particularly those represented by the internet. i'm on the internet early in the morning and probably again late at night so i can catch up with messages, the latest news and so forth. i promoted its impact around the world, especially in countries where it was the only way the
people of that country could have a free voice. i've fought from the time the internet was invented to keep it free and open so it's become the incredible force it is today. i promoted its potential for access in rural areas, for distance learning, for increasing points of view, for allowing all voices to be heard, as a means for small start-ups and firms in vermont and elsewhere to market quality products. now, this is not a newfound interest or passing fancy. i started and chaired a judiciary committee panel two decades ago on technology and the laws and founded the bipartisan/bicameral congressional internet caucus. now, yesterday "the washington post" got it right in its editorial entitled "freedom on the internet." it said a free and viable internet is essential to nurturing and sustaining the
kinds of revolutionary innovations that have touched on every aspect of modern life. but freedom and lawlessness are not synonymous. the constitution does not protect right to steal and that's true whether in a bricks and mortar store or on-line. and last week, a "wall street journal" editorial spoke in a similar fashion. two years ago, i introduced a bipartisan effort to target the worst of the worst of the foreign rogue web sites that profited from piracy and stealing and counterfeiting while also ensuring that we protect the internet. and i've been working since that time to do just that. in 2012 -- in 2010, the bipartisan bill i introduced was reported unanimously by the senate judiciary committee. i took the views of all
concerned, i reached out to the administration, we incorporated revised divisions suggested by other senators, like senator wyden. we held additional hearings to which we invited google and yahoo. we redrafted the legislative measure. we reintroduced it as the preventing real on-line threats to economic creativity and theft of intellectual property act, the protect i.p. act. senator grassley joined me as an original cosponsor. i continued to work with republicans and democrats who showed interest. the measure was reported unanimously from the judiciary committee may of 2011. 40 senators from both democrats and republicans across the political spectrum cosponsored it. now, it's rare that editorial boards with divergent view
points as "the washington post" and "wall street journal" would agree. here they do. as i've already noted, the problem of foreign rogue site sites -- web sites engage in piracy, theft and counterfeiti counterfeiting. this is one time when they do agree. mr. president, i ask that copies of the editorials i've referenced be included with my remarks -- at the end of my remarks. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. leahy: this is an issue the united states chamber of commerce and the afl-cio, the national association of manufacturers and the teamsters, the cable industry and the broadcast industry -- now, these are all groups that are usually taking different positions on different things. they're united on this. by targeting the worst of the worst and protecting the integrity of the internet, we get a broad coalition of support for the protect i.p. act.
but law enforcement groups, of course, more than 400 companies and associations, unions have come together to support it. last year, forming similar coalitions, we were able to reform our patent laws to unleash american innovation and also to boost our economy. we have to look for the same thread here because there's a serious threat to our economic recovery posed by internet piracy. now, i have remained flexible on this. i've listened to people both for and against the legislation, made changes in it along the lines suggested by others, such as senator wyden. i took seriously the concerns about the domain name system provisions.
we fix that in the managers' amendment. so i -- i regret that we're not going to go forward with it this week. i regret that so much misinformation has stopped it. i thank majority leader reid for trying to schedule the debate on this serious economic threat. and i understand that the republican leader recently objected and a number of senators who had cosponsored and long supported the effort jumped ship when faced with a difficult decision. and i understand as leader he did what he had to do. but i hope after a delay, we can come back together and work on this. i've talked to people who are in strong support, like the distinguished senator from arizona, senator kyl.
certainly continue to work with him. he's been an absolute leader in this area and i applaud the work he's done. this is an act that's been years in the making. it's been awaiting senate action since last may. now, today the rogue foreign web sites that are based in russia that are stealing americans' property are delighted to continue the operation. counterfeiting sweatshops in china are the beneficiaries of this delay. some of the sweatshops that are employing children basically and slave labor to turn out these counterfeit products that are on the web sites, they've got to be happy we've lost a tool to go after them. and having listened to some of the misinformation i've seen
recently on the same internet i'm trying to protect, i would point out that our bill would only affect web sites that have been judged by a federal court to have no significant use other than engaging in theft. whether it's through stolen content or the selling of counterfeits. it's narrowly targeted at the worst of the worst. web sites that have some infringing content on their sites but have uses other than from profiting from infringement are not covered by the legislation. i saw one web site, wikepedia say they're going to go dark. they censored themselves to protest what they called censorship. our law never would have touched a web site like wikepedia.
what it does do is go after organized crime in russia and china and elsewhere. i worry about the flash of interest that surrounded this bill last week. those who are forgotten, the millions of individual artists, creators, companies in vermont and every other state who work hard every day only to find their work is available online for free without their consent. those factories workers whose wages are cut with low-quality
counterfeit goods sold in places where they don't work so diligently to produce. there are men and women of our national guard and military that put our lives on the line for all of us every day. yet, if they acquire a counterfeit part, it can literally be a matter of life or death. or seniors who are struggling to pay thor their medications -- to pay for their medications. i seen on jaun of these web sites where they can find them for a little bit less. the medications that are going to protect them from a heart attack, instead they have a counterfeit. so at the end of the dark the debate boils down a simple question: should americans and american companies profit from what they produce to be able to provide american jobs or do we want to continue to let thieves
operating overseas steal that property and then sell it to unsuspecting american consumers? i would hope in the coming days the senate will be able to focus on stopping the theft that's undercutting our economic recovery. i remain committed to confronting that problem. i appreciate the efforts of people like senator kyl, senator alexander and others who want to continue to work in a thoughtful manner with all interested parties to find an effective solution to eliminate online theft by foreign rogue web sites. and i thank those senators accordingly. in vermont and back here this past week when i got back to washington for offering their help, senators on both sides of the aisle. that means a lot. i know the senior senator from nebraska waited to speak about
the judicial nominee from his state. i'll say what i've said to him privately because i know this is his last year in the senate. i am i've always enjoyed working with him. he's worked hard, represented the people of his state well, been very honest in his dealings with me. he's been diligent with respect to judicial nominee nominations for vacancies in nebraska. he has tirelessly pressed to fill vacancies there to ensure that the cases before the federal court in nebraska were not needlessly delayed. he did that to protect everybody in nebraska, republicans and democrats alike, to make sure the courts were open for them. i'm sorry that the confirmation of justice gerrard, one he so strongly sported, has been needlessly delayed for more than three months. but i would say to the people of
nebraska, they are fortunate -- are very, very fortunate to have the senior senator from nebraska, my friend ben nelson, who's been there fighting for them, fought for the people of nebraska every day from the day he took the oath of office. it may be his last year here, but based on past performance, i think it's safe to say he'll fight for nebraska right up until the moment that adjournment bell sounds. i yield the floor. mr. nelson: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator nebraska. mr. nelson: mr. president, i thank my colleague, the esteemed chair, for such kind remarks. i wish they were universally believed by all, but it is the kind of introduction that my father would have enjoyed but my mother would have believed. i appreciate so very much the kind comments.
the nebraska supreme court temporarily stayed the execution of one prisoner, cary dean moore because a full evidencedentialry record was before it. in an immediate case state v. mata, which was referred to by my friend and colleague from alabama, senator sessions. that case challenged the constitutionality of electrocution as a method of -- electrocution as a method of execution. it did not challenge -- it was not associated with whether or not to have a death penalty. it was not challenging the death penalty but the methodology of the death penalty. the court had to determine whether a prisoner should be executed before that question was soon answered. the temporary stay was issued and the other case decided as a matter of state constitutional law. the court, by a vote of 6-1,
determined that electrocution as a method -- and i emquaifies "a mealinmessage outed of executio" violated exprohibitions against cruel and unusual punishment. the court was clear that the death penalty remained valid in nebraska, no writ of certiorari taken. the nebraska legislature changed it to lethal injection. as a matter of fact, the court has set a date of execution for a prisoner to be executed on march the 6th. this same court set dates of execution while i was governor on three occasions, and they were carried out. judge gerrard was a member of the court at that time. it has no objections to the
execution. it's the methodology that the court delts with. so it is important to recognize that in moore, the issue was not whether the death penalty itself was constitutional. it was whether a particular means of execution was constitutional. those are completely different questions. senator sessions claims that judge gerrard stayed the defense execution in light of a -- quote -- "changing legal landscape" -- end of quote. however, it's not uncommon for a court when presented with different cases involving related issues to withhold ruling on any one case until all of the related issues are resolved. therefore, the moore order reflects a pragmatic decision to wait until both cases could be resolved. now, i agree with senator sessions that this is about the duty of a judge to be faithful to the law and to serve under
the law. however, i strongly disagree distinguish senator sessio sess' characterization as judge gear jarred as an -- gerrard as an activist judge. the u.s. supreme court concluded in a previous case that the nebraska supreme court -- but the u.s. supreme court and the nebraska supreme court have repeatedly held that the death penalty is not cruel and unusual, and judges gerrard would have no difficulty following that binding precedent. as a matter of fact, he has. he has no personal beliefs that would prevent him from enforcing the death penalty. in fact, he's authored several opinions and voted to confirm the death sentences. as i said, judge gerrard
believes the death penalty is an acceptable forum of punishment fnlt he understands the significant difference between a judge on a court of last resort interpreting state court constitutional law and a federal district judge who follows u.s. supreme court precedents. so i'd like to reiterate that judge gerrard is held in the highest regard by both the bench and the bar in nebraska. he's earned an a.v. martindale hubbell rating from his colleagues, the american bar association has deemed him unanimously well-qualified to serve as u.s.a. district court. i thank my colleague, senator johanns from hebe, for his support and dmentses which were also very supportive, clearly supportive of judges gerrard and the decisions that clearly he is not an activist judge. i thank the president and the body and i yield the floor.
i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call: mr. grassley: mr. president, i ask that the calling of the quorum be suspended. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. grassley: just history of a month ago, december 17, the senate entered into a unanimous consent agreement to consider the nomination of john m. gerrard of nebraska to be district judge for nebraska. we are proceeding with this nomination and i'm going to support it, despite the president's action on recess appointments. during the last session we acted
responsibly in considering the president's nominees. even the majority leader acknowledged this. he stated -- quote -- "we've done a good job on nominations the last couple of months, actually in the last three months we have accomplished quite a bit." end of quote of senator reid. i will have more to say about the recess appointments. but with regard to this nomination, i hope my colleagues understand that even though we are proceeding under regular order today, it is only because this unanimous consent agreement was locked in before the president demonstrated his monarchy mentality by making those recess appointments. i'm not going to hold this nominee accountable for the outrageous actions of the president. however, as this is a matter of concern to my republican colleagues, as it should be to every one of the 100 senators,
we must consider how we will respond to the president and how we will restore constitutional balance. since the adoption of the unanimous consent agreement governingings this nomination, president obama has upset the nomination process. article 2, section 2, of the constitution provides that only two ways in which the president may appoint certain officers. first, it provides that the president nominates and by and with the convict of the senate appoint -- advice and consent of the senate appoint various officers. it permits appointments when a vacancy in one of those offices happens when the senate is in recess. on january 4 the president made four appointments. they were purportedly based on the recess appointments clause. he took this action even though the senate was not in recess.
this action is of utmost seriousness to all americans. these appointments were blatantly unconstitutional. they were not made with the advise and consent of the senate, and they were not made during the recess of the senate. between the end of december and today, the senate has been holding sessions every three days. it did so precisely to prevent the president from making recess appointments. it followed the same procedure as it had during the term of president bush. honoring the constitution and the desire of the senate, president bush declined to make recess appointments during these periods. but president obama chose to make recess appointments despite the existence of these senate
sessions. in addition to being unconstitutional, the so-called recess appointments break long-standing tradition. they represented and attempted -- they represent an attempted presidential power grab against this constitutionally consecrated body, the senate. a president has not attempted to make a recess appointment when congress has not been in recess for more than three decades or for more than three days in many, many decades. in fact, for decades, the senate has been in recess at least ten days before the president has invoked this power. other parts of the constitution beyond article 2, section 2, show that these purported appointments are invalid. article 1, section 5, provides -- quote --